Day 5: Monday, June 27

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Day 5: Monday, June 27

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Read about the content and design of resumes and other printed texts, then apply these principles to your resume.
  • Learning Module 3 will help you evaluate your resume's design and content.
  • Post a draft of your printed resume to your blog in PDF format.
  • Learn how to elicit good responses from peer reviewers.


  • Review: Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age 2e, "Writing and Designing a Resume" (107-110). Pay special attention to the sample resume by Jennifer Norman, and use the Technology Toolbox (110) to help use columns and tables to design your resume.
  • Resume Design: (Purdue's OWL). There are some excellent suggestions here for using the quadrant and column tests and the twenty second review.

Quick Resume Design Tips

  1. Generally speaking, a resume should balance content in each of the four quadrants on a page;
  2. Columns should align throughout the resume, and you normally want at most three to four columns in play;
  3. Also try the squint test, which involves squinting at your resume on screen or paper to see what might (or might not) stand out);
  4. It's best not to rely on templates (in Word, for example); one problem with them is that a lot of other people use them, too, so if you want to stand out in a good way, show that you understand design principles and good communication, or that you really are an expert with MS office, you shouldn't rely on a (often poorly designed) template that keeps you with the herd. Employers will recognize when a resume uses a Word template since they read so many resumes; and
  5. Remove those blue hyperlinks (on email addresses or URLs) if Word inserted them automatically. Hyperlinks on a printed document are useless and simply convey that you don't know how to fix Word's auto-correct function. To learn how to remove them (and turn this feature off permanently), see the Technology Toolbox (p. 245) in Writing 2e.

Activities to Complete Today

  • Learning Module 3: Evaluate your resume's content and design by completing the Project Checklists in Writing 2e (108-109), "Evaluating Your Resume's Content" and "Evaluating Your Resume's Design." Systematically go through the checklists and revise your resume to make sure you've met all of the goals the checklists describe. For the "Content" checklist, you should just make the revisions directly on your resume, as needed. In the "Design" checklist, there are 7 questions about the resume's design that you can ask. To verify that you've completed this module, post a message to your blog (tags: learning module 3, resume design and content) in which you 1) describe how you revised your resume's content as you completed the content checklist; and 2) answer the 7 questions in the design section (write your answers in complete sentences and elaborate as much as possible on what you've learned)
  • Submit the draft of your printed resume as a PDF file attachment to a blog post with the subject title "Resume Draft for Review" and tagged: resume draft. Your post should include submission notes that follow these principles of eliciting good response. (Your notes are addressed to readers and reviewers.) To convert your resume draft to a PDF file (which preserves the layout/design and is critical for a resume), you can do the following:
    • MacOffice: On a Mac: Go to Print, and select the PDF > Save as PDF option (lower left of the print dialogue box).
    • MS Word: In Windows (Office 2010, later): Go to File > Save as and choose PDF.
    • InDesign: File > Adobe PDF Presets > Smallest File Size

Looking Ahead

On Day 6, you'll review the resumes of two peers and complete a peer review sheet, receive two reviews of your resume, and learn about the Documentation Project. Instructor feedback on your resumes will come on the weekend or sooner.